AMORY – During a special-called meeting Aug. 27, the Amory School Board approved an application to the Mississippi Department of Education to receive funds to administrate the Equity in Distance Learning Act (EDLA) for the purchase of electronic devices.

“We’re excited to get the funding for providing these devices. Getting it has been tough, though,” said Amory School District Superintendent Ken Byars after the meeting.

This legislation has provided $150 million to school districts across Mississippi to pay for electronic devices for students and teachers, software to deliver instruction, enhanced internet connectivity and professional development for digital teaching and learning.

Per the agenda released, the district is responsible for a 20 percent match and anything more than the reimbursement amount to meet the needs assessment. The goal is to equip every Mississippi student with a laptop or tablet and improving connectivity for distance learning.

After discussion, the school board approved the Equity in Distance Learning Act Fiscal Year 2021 Plan for Amory School District to receive funds from the MDE, contingent that it remains advantageous for the district.

Per the agenda, devices purchased by ASD or through the EDLA will be maintained by the Amory School District Information Technology Department.

The school district will use district funds, along with any federal programs or grants available, to replace all devices purchased using EDLA funds during a three-year period before the expiration of the term of their expected useful life. Spreading the replacement of devices more than three years will relieve strain on the district’s finances.

Byars said students in fifth through 12th grades have already been supplied with Chromebooks.

“This grant will help us take care of the rest,” he said.

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